Questioning the plans

I HOPE you will give me the opportunity to respond to the letters from Councillors Derek Holley and Jonathan Gray (Letters, April 5). Not surprisingly, Cllr Gray accuses me of political mischief making . This is a well-known and oft-used common response

I HOPE you will give me the opportunity to respond to the letters from Councillors Derek Holley and Jonathan Gray (Letters, April 5).

Not surprisingly, Cllr Gray accuses me of "political mischief making". This is a well-known and oft-used common response from Conservatives to anyone who dares to have an opposing viewpoint to their own.

As a member of the opposition group, I feel that it is my duty, in the interest of the taxpayers, to question and scrutinise the actions and decisions made by the majority Conservative group and not let them have carte blanche on how taxpayers' money is spent.

Cllr Gray's support for continual secrecy about the cost of demolishing and rebuilding Pathfinder House, even after the contracts were agreed, cannot inspire public confidence by the taxpayer in local democracy. Those same taxpayers are having to foot the bill by paying more local tax coupled with a reduction in services.

Cllr Holley once again neatly side-steps the issue of the structural report given 10 years ago warning the council of the problems with Pathfinder House and the need to take remedial action. The ruling Conservative group chose to take no action on this report.

It is like any of us having a couple of tiles missing from our property. If we ignore the problem for years then eventually the minor repairs escalate into major expenditure. For Derek Holley to say that "repairs would have been like a weak sticking plaster" is just another way of trying to trivialise and detract from the huge scale of the current problem he and his Tory group now find themselves in.

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I suppose he and his colleagues will be telling us next that an office block like Pathfinder House has a life span of only 25 years and the fact that it is being replaced after 30 years is a bonus. This will certainly not wash with me but what about your readers? Do they believe it?

COUNCILLOR DEREK GILES, Eaton Socon Ward, HDC

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